Zen 4 rumor bulldozer smashes Zen 3 with alleged +25% IPC uplift, +40% total gains, and potential delivery of 5 GHz on all cores while AMD's Zen 5 will be even more spectacular
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There have been plenty of tidbits of rumors and news about the various successors to AMD’s Zen 3 microarchitecture floating around for a while now, with Zen 3+ likely being a modest refresh. We have barely finished being impressed by Zen 3, and it appears Zen 4 is already being lined up in preparation to empty our bank accounts (subject to availability). A relatively new kid on the tech block, Chips and Cheese, has allegedly received details from multiple sources in regard to both Zen 4 and Zen 5, including supposed IPC uplift percentages. Of course, even Chips and Cheese suggests a pinch of salt is required before piling through these rumors, so retain a healthy level of skepticism here.
Zen 4 is where it’s all at – and once Zen 3 and its refresh are properly out of the way, we can expect some exciting times with the successor generation. As mentioned above, apparently there will be +25% IPC gains, which is nothing to be sneezed at. Zen 4 will take AMD to new processing heights, and it has already been reported how the move from 7nm to an enhanced 5nm node (N5P) should bring considerable power reductions and mouth-watering performance gains: N7 to N5 -30% power and +15% performance; N5 to N5P -10% power and +5% performance. So 5nm Zen 4 Raphael desktop processors should race past the current Vermeer Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 chips “stuck” on the 7nm process.
But it’s not just “Raphael” desktop parts that will benefit from this improved Zen 4 microarchitecture and change in process nodes. Chips and Cheese makes reference to a source informing the site that an engineering sample of a Zen 4-based EPYC Genoa server chip made light work of a Zen 3-based EPYC Milan counterpart by being 29% faster, and that’s with the same clock rates and identical core configuration. A whopping 40% overall performance gain from Zen 3 to Zen 4 is also mentioned as is the possibility of all-core clocks hitting 5 GHz. If all this information is accurate, then it would seem nothing could beat Zen 4…except Zen 5 that is.
The purported information shared about Zen 5 makes it look nothing short of spectacular at the moment. AMD’s boss Lisa Su stated in a recent Q&A session how the company is “focusing on Zen 4 and Zen 5 to be extremely competitive”, and a rumored potential IPC uplift of +40% from Zen 4 should provide plenty of competition. This figure apparently comes from a “less-proven source”, but if Zen 5 is based on 3nm manufacturing technology then +10-15% performance gains can be expected at least, and who knows what other “special sauce” might be added in the meantime to beef up those gains? However, an industry expert has already cast considerable doubt on the source and these exciting rumors, but whatever the truth is you can be sure that Team Red is not resting on its laurels.